Man at Large After Woman Killed, Corpse Burned

A soldier is on the run after he allegedly murdered his long-term girlfriend on Friday night, burned her corpse inside a water cistern, then fled after admitting the crime to his brother, who thought he was joking, police said.

Song Touch, 48, a member of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces who lived in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district, fled his home after killing his girlfriend, 34-year-old Toem Sorphea, said Noun Sanith, deputy chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau.

“We knew about this case at 9:30 a.m. yesterday after locals found the flesh and bones of a human inside an empty jar in front of the victim’s rental house and reported it to local police,” Mr. Sanith said.

“The neighbors saw the suspect burning something inside the empty water jar in front of the house but they thought he was burning garbage, because his family often did that,” he added.

Mr. Sanith said that neighbors had overheard Mr. Touch having a heated argument with his girlfriend, a local land dealer, on the night of the alleged murder.

“On Friday night, they heard the couple yelling but did not pay much attention,” he said. “On Saturday, early in the morning, the witnesses saw the suspect ride off on his motorbike quickly to leave the house.”

Mr. Sanith said the couple had lived together for a long time but were never married.

“This couple had not yet been married but often had violent arguments,” he said.

Eng Sorphea, chief of the municipal police’s serious crimes bureau, added that Mr. Touch told his brother what he did before fleeing on Saturday, but that the brother thought he was telling a macabre joke after another fight.

“He told his brother before he left the house that he accidentally killed his wife,” Mr. Sorphea said. “So far, we haven’t arrested him yet. We are seeking to arrest him.”

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